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The Judgment Lapses of Andrew Gillum

September 13, 2018 - 2:00pm
Andrew Gillum
Andrew Gillum

As I wrote in last week's op-ed column, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum suffered a long roll-call of ethical lapses in just the past few years. Today, I want to share with you an assortment of judgment lapses that Andrew has left himself open to, because of either actions or inactions on his part.

But, before we get to this new laundry list of serious missed opportunities to show that he has neither the strength of character nor the depth of leadership required to be governor of Florida, I must pose a most obvious question:  Would Andrew Gillum even have been able to get re-elected as mayor of Tallahassee?


Barney Bishop
Barney Bishop

I say that as a 35-year resident in this city and someone who has been very active in business and political circles since I came to town in 1983.  

Andrew could not be re-elected to office because he abrogated his responsibility a long time ago to resolving the serious issues facing the capital city.

That’s the feeling of a large part of the Tallahassee business community who have previously backed him for local office, and if the locals aren’t supporting him, why should the Democrats be trying to foist him on the rest of the state?

The most significant issue is crime.
And since Andrew has been on the City Commission as both a commissioner and as mayor for a total of 14 years, he can’t say it started on someone else’s watch.

According to the crime statistics the state and feds put out annually, Tallahassee has led the state in violent crime for the last three years.  That’s three-quarters of his term as mayor.

During that time, Andrew has not offered up any serious proposal to combat the crime problem. In fact, the last time he asked the police chief to make a presentation to the City Commission about this ongoing issue, he simply asked operational questions.

And the questions were simple ones, such as, how did TPD interact with the Sheriff’s Office?  They were questions perhaps a novice city commissioner might ask, but certainly not someone who’s been in office for 14 years.

  • He didn’t suggest street lights so crime couldn’t continue to occur in the darkness.
  • He didn’t suggest building a police substation on the Southside to better fight crime and respond more quickly.
  • He didn’t suggest community policing teams so neighborhoods get to know their police officers from frequent interaction.
  • He didn’t even suggest Neighborhood Watch programs for the Southside.
  • He didn’t suggest anything.

But, Mayor Gillum supports automatic restoration of felons' rights as soon as they get out of prison -- before we even learn if they’re going back to a life a crime.

He supports radical bail bond reform, whereby no one has to put up any money to ensure they show up in court.

He supports legalization of marijuana as if that’s going to solve our incessant drug addiction and gang problem.

We all know that public safety is job No. 1 for local and state government.

So, what do we do when we have a gubernatorial candidate who doesn’t even have ideas on how to address crime in his own city, much less our state?

Judgment strike one.

Andrew’s best (former) friend is Adam Corey, lobbyist extraordinaire, who not only was the chief fundraiser for his mayoral election and his campaign treasurer, but also the chief corrupter once Andrew got elected.

In fact, Adam became the vice chair of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), now the focus of the FBI investigation into City Hall.

Andrew helped put Adam in as vice chair of the CRA. He also helped put Kim Rivers, also involved in the FBI investigation, in as chair and together they treated the CRA-taxpayer dollars as their own personal piggy bank to redevelop the Edison Restaurant for Adam and the Hotel Duval for Kim and her husband, J. T. Burnette.

Andrew also got Adam onto the board of the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority, where he has remained since the FBI investigation was revealed almost 18 months ago. Andrew has never asked Adam to step down from the DIA ,where he still sits today.

Judgment strike two.

When it comes to cutting expenses or raising property taxes, Andrew's judgment over the past four years clearly shows he believes in the tax-and-spend philosophy that has brought Connecticut, Illinois and New York to their fiscal knees.

Despite the best efforts of two grassroots groups in Tallahassee -- Budget Hawks and Citizens for Responsible Spending (Personal Note:  I’m the founder of CRS) -- to show Andrew and city commissioners that cutting expenses before raising taxes is the most logical way to go forward, Andrew refused even to consider cutting expenses.

Three times over three years he had a choice, and every time he increased taxes.

Judgment strike three.

One would think that a City Commission comprised of five Democrats would be a sea of shining success.

Think again.

Consistently, Andrew has taken actions like going on national television to embrace hundreds of displaced Syrians and inviting them to move to Tallahassee without even speaking with his other city commissioners in advance.

Grandstanding for sure to prove his “progressive” bona fides to Bernie Sanders, George Soros, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

Even worse was the admission at a monthly business lunch meeting that he had authorized the city manager to file the paperwork for a national grant to secure cameras for Tallahassee police officers without first securing the support of the other city commissioners.

This perpetual Lone Ranger behavior has earned the distrust of even his fellow Dems on the city commission. Though he is only a ceremonial mayor, his actions and inactions have portrayed Andrew to be untrustworthy of higher office.

Judgment strike four.

Oh, there are other transgressions that I could easily recount, such as his petulant, childish behavior with Gov. Rick Scott in the aftermath of Hurricane Hermine, when local authorities were unable to take command during recovery operations because Andrew inappropriately inserted himself into the decision-making process.

It exhibited his total lack of willingness to work with others to meet the needs of our citizenry during an emergency. While the county has learned and adopted suggestions to improve, the city has faltered.

Judgment strike five.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Andrew doesn’t play well with others.  He’s a lone ranger who helps his friends win contracts and gives them top-notch appointed jobs over public tax dollars, then watches as they pillar them for their own benefit and then refuses to call them out for their imprudence.

This isn’t what Florida needs.

He meets his minimum job responsibilities by attending commission meetings, but it’s all a façade, as he reaps the praises of the mainstream media but leaves Tallahassee with a rash of problems from his persistent lapses in judgment.

Andrew isn’t mature enough to be governor. He talks a great game, but so did Barack Obama, who, like Andrew, never worked a day in the private sector. 

On the public dole his entire adult life, never seeing a property tax he didn’t love to death, speaking admittedly eloquently about just causes, but not being able to solve those problems even in his own home city.

Andrew is clearly not ready for prime time.

Barney Bishop III, a conservative, is a former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party and is the president & CEO of Barney Bishop Consulting, LLC, a strategic public affairs firm based in Tallahassee.


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I actually thought this was a legitamate news site. This “article” is a disgustingly bias piece of racist trash. Clearly Gillum is far more competent, intelligent and diplomatic than his opponent. It’s evident by the debate. The only selling point DeSantis had was his bootlicking love of Trump. He has no idea how to govern this state. This ridiculous and inflammatory piece of junk needs to be archived immediately. This can not be a real news site. Complete loss of credibility if it is. Horrible.

And I hope everyone that votes for Gillum gets taxed from here to eternity

Wow - I sure learned a lot from my first read here on your site I was trying to find the link to the KKK sign up sheet and directions to the next cook out over to the hangin tree. Nothing worse than a redneck with money in his suit pocket, waving a bible and pointing the way to the next lynching

Funny, why is it that when presented with facts they can't refute, the next "logical" step for those with limited acumen ( that would be you) is to resort to ad hominem rhetoric? You lost this argument before you started because of your inability to address facts. How you surmised that somehow your name calling would be a substitute for logic is telling... Your entire diatribe is transparently predictable. It reminds me of a meme I've come across that exemplifies the absurdity and foolishness of your prattle... "Everyone I disagree with politically is a racist "... The race card, the last bastion of a scoundrel and the sign of a diseased mind...Again, I'm referring to you...

I personally like John. James as Governor, thinking Florida needs!!!!


Interesting how so much time and effort is dedicated to the bashing of one man who you make responsible for every negative thing in our city and give no credit whatsoever for all the positive things. The "whole truth" is out there but it is clear from your reporting that half truths and partial stories and some pure BS is all that your readers get from this piece. That and holding on to their guns while tallying up each and every crime and killing and leaving it at the doorstep of one, coincidentally black man. Don't give me that. I hear each and every one of you crying foul about what I just wrote. All I hear is you whistling Dixie again, and again and again. Even when presented with FACTS, which you are not fond of, - your readers say absolutely asinine things like "significant decrease is relative" Clearly it would not matter if he turned water into wine - Gillum has been labeled your devil and instead of working to change things - you label and slander. In my opinion.

what are some of those good things he did? others have told me of the negative things about him & his role as a leader why aren't you telling everyone of the positive things he has done? unless of course-- you don't know of any?

Not that facts would make any difference to prohibitionists, but... There are a LOT of problems with Gillum, but being-sane on cannabis ain't one of 'em. We've flushed enough drugwar tax dollars down the *** at this point, and no, we don't need the Canadian corporate cannabis monopolies trying to buy our politicians. Floridians should be able to grow it in their back yards.

Look here, Barney old boy--and in a Republican-leaning poll, too:

Look here D.K. Roberts, boy, polls had Hillary surely winning the POTUS as well and last time I checked here kankles aren’t sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office are they?

Yeah... maybe you should check with old Hill about poll numbers... "Our polls have shown Clinton’s lead in the national popular vote to be remarkably stable despite the many apparent twists and turns in the campaign,” said Jon Cohen, the chief research officer for SurveyMonkey. “All fall, Clinton has maintained a lead over Trump, with her margin hovering in a narrow band between four and six percentage points.

GUNS are at the root of much of the crime, even in Tallahassee; easy to get guns. We had a ton of police officers at Andrew Jackson in Jacksonville at a football game and 3 people got shot; law enforcement couldn't stop it, street lights couldn't stop it, police sub stations couldn't stop it. Guns being easily placed into the hands of our youth are creating these issues; guns easily attainable to people with mental health issues. FIX THOSE PROBLEMS. We do realize that those problems may have been INTENTIONALLY created. On to Andrew's former friend problem; FORMER tends to be the key word here. Check out the republican party and all of the president's men; falling one by one, with republican congressmen standing behind him while their party appears to be propped up by a criminal organization and foreign entity. We, as Americans, are ready to lose the crime, corruption, treason, thuggery, hate, greed, etc., that came with this presidency; we will not stick our heads in the sand and pretend not to see; we are done with lies, deception and cheap trips in efforts to ruin our democracy. We will take our country back; lies and garbage and those LESS than the most upstanding honorable men and women will not prevail!! This is nation under GOD!! That means something people; we may be of many parties, but we are one nation under God; no room for lies, hate, greed, we require nothing less than the MOST HONORABLE protecting our our land, our democracy.........under God.

wow just wow, lol I find your comment disgusting, first of all Clinton's nock name is killery Clinton because of her "FAILURE" to secure the consulate in Bengazi, I don't remember President Trump.being a candidate for Governor, futhermore what policies does that will make Florida a better State, lol.ok kid come back when you have answers, again next time try staying on "TOPIC", like I said this isn't about President Trump nor his policies!!!!

I grew up in Tallahassee. Gillum has been a George Soros pawn for years. Why would the intelligent rookie of Florida want George Soros running the state? Because Soros hates everything America stands for. His goal: Control through flunkies like Gillum, get rid of democracy.

Intelligent people (not rookie)

DeSantis stand visible and available:

Someone tell Ted Kruse that Gillum's mistress, Lesley Wimes, is currently working on the Dem 'hit piece'. It's unfortunate that a few partisan communists attempt to shoot down Mr. Bishops succinct reporting on Gillum and his cronies. I know Mr. Bishop was in a difficult position to pick five ethical compromises from the hundreds committed by Gillum during his time as Mayor. I'll never forget his office communicating to Tally constituents that they would have to wait for assistance after hurricane Hermine until his lacky agency heads returned from vacation! Great leadership demonstration. "Hold on folks, we evacuated to a Las Vegas resort but we'll be back soon to address your concerns."

Dave Manning wants Gillum for himself. I see posts of his over and over talking about who Gillum is having sex with. I think Dave’s homosexual tendencies are overpowering him!

'But, Mayor Gillum supports automatic restoration of felons' rights as soon as they get out of prison -- before we even learn if they’re going back to a life a crime. He supports radical bail bond reform, whereby no one has to put up any money to ensure they show up in court. He supports legalization of marijuana as if that’s going to solve our incessant drug addiction and gang problem.'...……..That sounds great to me!! Just what of that is bad? It's giving freedom, rights and cutting out the scam of bailbondsmen and making the poor stay in jail, taxpayers paying for it for months before they can prove their innocence ………….Just what don't you like here Barney?...………...It's a known fact just how racist keeping people from voting is and how pretrial jailing is but you love that don't you Barney, you paid shill for big oil and whomever gives you money...…….You love most of those that can't vote are not going to vote for your kind of scammers. …………..Great article in the TBTs on Gillum's FBI deal showing just what happened, a normal FBI sting that went no where because Gillum didn't do anything wrong 3 yrs ago. If he had, he'd be arrested by now...……………..We'll see you in November where repubs because they are fiscally and morally bankrupt are going to lose a lot as the people are tired of you not doing what we want...………….And DeSantis still doesn't have a platform yet other than the big racist Trump backing and DeSantis racist remarks and scared to face TBTs editors, saying his platform isn't ready yet!!! Quality candidates Barney!!……….Gillum is looking pretty good compared to him.

You sound like true democrat out of touch and uneducated. #WalkAway from the lairs, haters and lunatics. Your lack of education is showing. Do some research.

I agree with you. With the corruption Gillium has pulled over the long years in office why would anyone vote for him? You know Soros would back him because he's one of them. Fits the profile. Florida is a major player in the elections and they (leftist crooks) want to control it.

I see nothing but disaster with Gillum or any Democrat.

We need a United States. That means true leaders are needed. I’m a 66 year old DVM and lived in FL since 1967. I bought a home on the Loxahachie River - not catch a meal in seven months. My condos construction is third world. Rusty rebars. The Lantana beach is growing urchins and a new sand coral. Leaders follow true knowledge- science has been compromised by industry. One needs to not follow ones throwness. True leaders care - fences, street lights and armored police is not caring- it’s controlling. Put your egos in check and ask your self - what would Jesus Christ of Nasereth do?

Jesus of Nazareth would most likely favor universal healthcare, ref. Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Jesus would have expected you to do such a thing, not require everyone else to pay for it. Democrats always want to quote Jesus when it's convenient.

Judgement lapses... Barney, yours needs some work.

T hank you Mr. Bishop for your second installment of truth. Most local voters in the Miami-Dade/Broward demographic area have not been exposed to Gillum's dirt before. Pay no mind to these dim witted Democratic Party low level operative trolls commenting here Mr. Bishop. Most of these trolls already support Gillum already knowing full well and approving of his dirt. It's the local hard working honest American Miami-Dade/Broward voters you are enlightening with your truth and wisdom Mr. Bishop. It's the local hard working Miami-Dade/Broward voters who are going to respond to your truth by either voting Desantis or staying home on election day. These 5 or 10 dim witted Democratic Party low level operative trolls commenting here are by no means representative of the local hard working Miami-Dade/Broward voters. Good work enlightening the public Mr. Bishop. Thank you Sir.

Claude, for the record, I am a registered GOP voter - but of the pragmatic thinking, problem solving mindset. I want civil solutions to this country's and Florida's enormous problems. Talk is cheap. Polemics are even cheaper.

Oil man, thanks for the rundown. You think oil drilling is good for our beaches despite Horizon, so your opinion of Gillum is a bit suspect. 14 years elected in a small town, somebody likes him. Legalize marijuana? I'd rather see it regulated and taxed than sold in the streets as it is now. He was my fourth choice in August, but will be my first in November. The other guy, so far, is running as a talking head from Fox News.


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